NIANGUA - Macks Creek, recently ranked ninth in the latest Class 1 Baseball Coaches poll, fell to the Niangua Cardinals by the score of 12-4 on Monday night. The game was moved from Macks Creek due to field conditions, but the Pirates remained the home team on the scoreboard.
Niangua plated a single tally in the first inning. Following a lead off walk, a balk moved the runner to second. The runner then advanced on a wild pitch ahead of another walk, before being picked off at third by Pirates' starter Brian Devivo. Niangua would then utilize two singles and an error to take a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates would go quietly in their half of the first before Niangua erupted for four more runs in the second for a 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, Cody Eidson led off with a single. After a strikeout, Jacob Devivo advanced Eidson to third with a bunt before Eric Waters drove him in with a single up the middle to cut the deficit to 5-1.
Niangua again scored four more runs in the top of the third. The Cardinals took advantage of three walks, two hits and an error to create a 9-1 lead and chase the Pirates' starter. Bricker Berry relieved and collected a strikeout to end the half-inning.
Each side would go quietly over the next four innings, with the only scoring coming from a single Cardinal run in the fourth. In the top of the seventh, Berry would tire and allow two runs in the frame. Andrew Kohler relieved and recorded three outs on two pitches.
The Pirates did not go away in the seventh. Matt Hicks led off the bottom of the inning with a single. Following a strikeout, Waters hit a ground ball to second that was misplayed and rolled into center. Hicks would advance to third and Waters to second on the play. Following another strikeout, Brian Devivo doubled to left, plating Hicks and moving Waters to third. Both runners would cross the plate when Tommie Willis smacked a double down the right field line. Berry was then hit-by-a-pitch before two strikeouts ended the game.
"We came out a bit flat tonight on both offense and defense," commented Coach Trusty, "but, I am glad that we continued to fight until the last out."
Brian Devivo took the loss on the mound. He worked the first two-and-two-thirds innings, allowing nine runs, four earned, on six hits while striking out three, hitting one and walking seven. He falls to 2-2 with the loss. Berry worked the next three-and-a-third innings. He allowed three runs, two earned, struck out seven and walked six. Andrew Kohler worked a full inning on just two pitches, inducing a double play and a ground out.
Page 2 of 2 - "Struggled a bit to throw strikes tonight and it hurt us," added Coach Trusty.
Austin Hufferd, Cody Eidson, Matt Hicks and Eric Waters each singled for the Pirates while Brian Devivo and Tommie Willis doubled. Brian, Eidson, Hicks and Waters each scored with Brian and Waters collecting a single RBI each. Willis collected two RBI's in the contest. Bricker Berry reached on a walk and a hit-by-pitch, Nathan Jones reached on an error and Jacob Devivo laid down a sacrifice bunt.
The Pirates fall to 6-3 with the loss. They are next slated to take on the Osage Indians on Friday at 5:00, weather permitting.